Unsafe Acts

Members can click here to download an ad-free version of this talk!

Unsafe Acts Safety Talk

Unsafe acts are responsible for the majority of workplace incidents that result in injuries or property loss. According to PA Training for Health & Safety, an estimated 80 out of 100 people who are involved in an incident are at fault for it. Because of this fact, companies spend much of their effort in making their workplaces safer by addressing the unsafe acts and praising safe behaviors of their employees.

Reasons for Unsafe Acts

There are many reasons individuals do unsafe acts while at work. Some common drivers behind unsafe acts include:

  • Taking shortcuts– One of the most obvious reasons unsafe acts occur is because individuals take shortcuts whenworker taking safety shortcuts completing their work. Whether it is because of time pressures, laziness, lack of supervision, etc., taking shortcuts can lead to injuries.
  • Being complacentComplacency is one of the hardest things to address in the workplace. Most of us have been doing the same job or work tasks for many years. As time goes on, we get comfortable with the work and are not as diligent in addressing the hazards of the work.
  • Overconfidence– Much like complacency, overconfidence can come from experience on the job. It can also come from inexperience. Overconfidence during a work task, familiar or brand new, leads to unsafe acts.
  • Ignoring rules or procedures– Most of the time, we all know what the rules or procedures for a work task are. Through training, conversations, warning labels, etc., we know what we are supposed to do. However, many workers choose to forgo safety rules and procedures for a variety of reasons, including the other reasons mentioned here.
  • Poor attitude– Often times, the source of unsafe acts can be boiled down to poor attitudes. Those individuals who have poor attitudes when it comes to work or safety at work will show it through their behavior.


There is a magnitude of reasons behind why unsafe acts occur. Despite what the reason may be for the unsafe act, one thing is for sure- injuries will occur over time if they continue to take place. Unsafe acts are the root of the majority of injuries on the job, and when paired with unsafe conditions, it is likely someone will be injured. All too often, it is the person who is responsible for the unsafe act that is injured. Even worse is when a bystander is injured due to the unsafe actions of another person.

Discussion point:

  • What is an example of a common unsafe act?

Do you want downloadable PDFs of all of the talks? Join as a member and get all of the 250+ free talks as well as 300+ additional talks in PDFs that are easy to download and print!